It’s been a week or weeks or more (depending when I finish writing this) since I returned from a tour of Scandinavia with So We Are & Supersmall (solo). I’d always wanted to visit this region and it was amazing to do so as a musician (which means I can drink while I work). If you didn’t know already, So We Are (Dr.Joseph LeDoux and myself) are an acoustic duo that plays stripped down versions of songs by The Amygdaloids. It’s music of a genre called HeavyMental, as the only band in this category it really raises the chances of us getting a Grammy at some point. If you read that last sentence and didn’t see the humor, you should probably not read any further.
One of the great perks of this trip was that I got to fly around in first class. That experience alone is worth a long, obnoxious, detail-soaked blog entry about how the food is amazing, drinks are free and you get your own footwear/gifts and almost feel like a human being while flying and blah blah blah…honestly, it ruined me. I can never fly coach again, I mean I have to, but it will now be an experience worse than death. On the flight to Iceland I met Ryan, a nice guy who started a little known blog back in the day called Pitchfork . David Fricke sat behind me. A very strange flight indeed. Yes I blabbed about the bands I play in.
I arrived in Uppsala, Sweden on Wednesday afternoon. The flight had been delayed so I missed some early day formal introductions but was able to grab dinner at Domtrappkällaren that night. Afterwards as Joe and the rest retired to the hotel I walked around the town in the light rain and found Williams Pub, we would be playing a show there two nights later so I grabbed a few beers by myself to feel it out. They had a great Dutch IPA, the name I forget but I found myself going back to their Brooklyn IPA. Weird, Norway had this on tap also.
Thursday Morning I made my way to The Gronwall Hall (Grönwallsalen) where the plenary talk and musical performance was to take place. It was close to the hotel so I got to sleep in a little. I was having trouble with the jet lag, i’m not a good sleeper on a good day/night. Thankfully my doctor gave me some sleeping pills before I left which came in handy. I’ve excepted that insomnia is going to follow me around for the rest of my life and that medication will have to also. Damn they feel good. Two beers and a pill, heaven. The show went really well, although when I later seen the photographs & video they took I went back on the diet again and made more time for exercise. Oof! Later that night I hit Williams Pub (that diet lasted long) and made a spectacle of myself by bursting into tears laughing while reading Everyday Was overcast by Paul Kwiatkowski. I left early for the hotel but if you get a chance, you should read it.
Friday I arrived early at Williams Pub and met Thomas who would be our sound guy. After setting up the PA and doing a quick soundcheck we got talking music. Thomas was an electronic musician and producer, he was also a big fan of all the electronic bands I listened to 99% of the time. Cut a long story short, I sent him all of Supersmall’s library from both our producers for him to draw on for remixes. I’m excited to hear what he comes up with, I’ve really enjoyed his work he has sent me in the meantime. This is typical of the touring experience, meeting like-minded folk ands getting out of your well-trodden bubble in the city that you live in.
The show went really well and Joe and I retired to the hotel afterwards for an early night. That was the plan I suppose, I ended up hitting the hotel bar which is a strange experience as the bartender is also the receptionist. It’s also so insanely expensive to drink in Sweden (and Norway) that people show genuine concern when you insist upon even the smallest amounts.
Saturday we flew to Oslo (nice airport) and then on to Stavanger, Norway where we had shows at the Scandic Forum and a downtown Café. The Scandic Hotel where we stayed had an incredible view of Mosvatnet Lake which I walked around in my pathetic attempt at exercise. I try, I really do. It rained pretty much on and off the whole time I was there which got no complaints from me as I’m a weirdo that likes, no wait, loves rain. There were some clear skies though. The town itself was great and I found a great coffee/beer/book shop called Books & Beer which I stopped into on more than one occasion.
I quit writing this blog post here weeks ago and failed to finish it several times since because there was a lot of cool and fun stuff that happened but required me to go through my calendar and I just didn’t/don’t have the time to write anymore here. I’m also lay. Just ask me about it if you see me. All I can say is that I loved Norway. The shows went great and since I got back to NYC I’ve been very busy and am closing in on finishing writing the third Supersmall record.
So here is a summary:
Sunday to Tuesday: Tourist Stuff. Lots of writing in my hotel room and wandering around town and chatting to strangers. Also, took photos. Fish for breakfast everyday – winning!
Wednesday: A very early show in front of a 1000+ crowd & then a very late intimate show at Sting Cafe which was one of the most fun shows I’ve ever had as So We Are. Joe sounded great.
Thursday: I flew home first class which was wasted on me as I had come down with the flue. I was miserable. I relined my seat until it was a bed, turned on the massage function, but all I wished was to feel better again and be home in a real bed. When I arrived late at JFK my guitar arrived in two pieces and I’m still trying to get compensated by the airline. I refuse to let this dampen an otherwise wonderful musical adventure.
Scandic Hotel (Haunted)
The Williams Pub, Uppsala
Lines and Shapes
Last time I seen it in one piece
Had to stop for one…
Joe Autographs His Books
First Class Lunch
Sound Check, Scandic Forum
Last Show, Sting Cafe.
Historic District, Stavanger
Night Life, Stavanger, Norway
Irish Weather in Norway
Town Center Serenity
Here We Come Oslo
Sting Cafe, Last Night
Boker og Borst (Books & Booze)
Care For A Quick Dip?
All good things…
Sea Food & Sea Views
Stavanger Town Center
Neighborhood Watch, Norway
Norwegian Cuisine (in English)
Historic District, Stavanger
Downtown Stavanger, Norway